Life Class – Andrea 09.30-12.30
This week we turned the tables slightly by doing a couple of longer poses to start with – two 15 minutes. Followed by a couple of 3 minute and then two 10 minutes poses. As is traditional we ended on a long pose but started before tea break, giving ourselves approximately 50 minutes rather than the usual 40.
It was interesting to see how this affected us psychologically in the way we approached the drawings. I know I need to warm up before I can produce a reasonable drawing, so in that respect I found it harder. However, by the time we got to the quick poses, I was confident in my mark making and think the gesture of the pose more convincing.
Our tutor also placed some white gauze type fabric around the model, so that we had to consider the tone, transparency and delicacy of the fabric around her. Delicacy not being my strong point, I tried hard to achieve this by using subtle charcoal sweeps and a putty rubber to lift out the highlights with varying success.
I have noticed recently how I tend to use the hair of the model to angle the head without adding much, if any detail to the face itself. I am quietly pleased with this little trick and must put it down to the regular life and portrait sessions where we are encouraged to look more than we draw.
As I had only a couple of A4 sized boards with me, I decided to clip them together to make an A3 board that allowed me to be more expressive. I had in my mind before the class, that I would like to work less impasto and more with liquid paint to allow runs, plus, I was curious to draw tonally with charcoal and then use water to reduce it down to pigment rather than just a drawing medium. Again, I should have taken an interim photograph at tea break when I had reached the “painting with charcoal” stage but the call of tea and a chocolate biscuit distracted me! I had achieved a few runs and the charcoal was doing what I wanted it to, although, there were a few raised eyebrows among the other students – they thought I hadn’t noticed ;0). I had decided to use Burnt Umber, Yellow Ochre and Naples Yellow as my three main tones, however, I did resort to neat white for the lightest highlights. I was fairly pleased with my experiment, although, I did revert to neat paint to try to establish the darkest darks and lightest lights. Maybe next time I’ll use acrylic inks to really push the liquid colour and runs.